UPHOLSTERY & OUTDOOR FURNITURE
A retreat after a long day at work, a place for jovial evenings with friends, and the fortress for the kids‘ game of hide and seek—upholstered furniture is a vital part of our daily life, be it the timeless classic or the latest designer piece. Once we have found the right sofa, the perfect armchair or our favourite outdoor lounger, we want to enjoy them for a long time. They are a part of our home decor and contribute to our quality of life. Sandler addresses these demands with synthetic sawaflor® and sawaloom® nonwovens for upholstery of seat, backrest, armrest and body covers. Excellent cushioning properties, a high recovery rate and good structural integrity make your upholstered furniture durable and increase comfort in use. These products, also incorporate the same fibres used in our clothing, proving their versatility.
With their high air-permeability and resistance to moisture these nonwovens create an optimal micro-climate even in outdoor applications. They are adaptable and drapeable, thus commending themselves to various processing methods such as sewing or adhesive fixing. To make processing even easier, laminated sawatex® product variants may be applied as slip agents or sewing aids. In leather furniture, these nonwovens also add stability to the outer cover, thus preventing unsightly creases. These single-polymer textiles are manufactured without chemical adhesives and they are recyclable, conserving valuable resources. Flame-resistant product variants are also available and cover every aspect of product safety. With Sandler nonwovens, your products will set new standards for pure relaxation and comfortable living.
Breathability describes a fabric‘s ability to allow air and water-vapour to permeate, preventing the accumulation of moisture. Breathable materials thus increase comfort in use and avert skin irritation, particularly in applications involving direct skin contact.
- Hygiene products & wound dressings: Breathable nonwovens allow the skin to breathe, increasing wear comfort whilst preventing an accumulation of fluids and skin irritation, particularly during extended use.
- Automotive: Breathable textiles in the car seat increase driving comfort, especially on long journeys.
- Construction industry: Permeable nonwovens contribute to the health of the occupants. They allow the walls of buildings to breathe when required. Simultaneously, they avert the accumulation of moisture, thus preventing structural damage and potential health issues caused by mould formation.
- Mattresses & bedding: Breathable materials allow for a restful and comfortable sleep.
- Fashion: Breathability is a vital function for product performance.
Breathability, also referred to as resistance to water vapour permeability, can be measured according to DIN EN 31092, respectively ISO 11092 using the thermo-regulatory model of human skin. Breathability indicates the rate at which perspiration is transported through the material.
Extensible nonwovens facilitate contouring of the material to the respective application:
- Hygiene products: In diaper ears and other stretch applications, elastic nonwovens enhance this characterisation. They flexibly adapt to the wearer’s body, adjusting to any movement and optimising comfort in use. Extensible under a low load, with excellent recovery properties.
- Automotive, technical applications & home textiles: Malleability is a key requisite when nonwovens have to follow a contour. These nonwovens facilitate processing and dependably insulate or protect complex components.
- Construction: Used in repairs to a façade for example, elastic nonwovens are applied in crack bridging. They adapt to expansion or shrinkage of building materials and are capable of recovering their original dimensions, offering a long-term solution to construction defects.
Extensibility is measured by determining the maximum tensile force and the maximum elongation according to WSP 110.4 in machine direction and cross machine direction. Sandler performs these tests in our in-house laboratory.
Elastic properties are determined by employing the so-called hysteresis test following DIN 53835. During these tests, the material is repeatedly stretched up to a defined maximum tensile force. The maximum elongation achieved at the predefined force as well as the material’s permanent set are measured. The ideal permanent set value is required to be as low as possible, signifying that the material does not wear out during use. These tests are also performed in Sandler’s in-house laboratory.
In furniture, in hygiene products, in the automobile, in outdoor jackets and as industrial cushion liners for packaging, these nonwovens facilitate processing, contribute to the end-product’s durability and protect surfaces. The following properties are relevant to this characteristic:
The recovery rate describes a material’s ability to relax or regain its original shape after long-term, constant strain.
- Hygiene industry: In this sector, elasticity and stretch are important for nonwovens used in diaper ears and other closures.
- Automotive: A high recovery rate in nonwovens used in seats provides for long-term driving comfort. These nonwovens yield to deformation, yet remain stable.
- Upholstered furniture: Nonwovens featuring a high recovery rate render furniture durable and contribute to a high level of long-term comfort.
- Mattresses: The formation of dents and creases can be prevented, resulting in permanently comfortable sleep.
In technical applications, the parameters for testing this property are stated in DIN 53517 or DIN ISO 815. The so-called compression set value as measured is expressed as a percent. A sample is compressed by a defined value and held in this state for a given time at a defined temperature, the specific test parameters being dependent on the intended application. 30 minutes after relaxation the material’s thickness and plastic deformation are determined. For hygiene products, the material’s elastic properties are measured by means of the hysteresis test following the procedure in DIN 53835.
Voluminous nonwovens are particularly bulky for improved visual effect, processability and performance:
- In furniture these nonwovens create unrestricting bulky upholstery, particularly for soft upholstery in the backrest—perfectly suited to the latest design trends.
- Mattress covers are even more comfortable with voluminous nonwovens.
- In outdoor clothing voluminous materials provide for a higher level of heat retention.
Flame-resistant products meet particular demands in the event of fire. Subjected to blaze, sparks or open fire, they do not catch fire immediately. When ignited, these structures do not continue to burn, but extinguish after a specific time.
Depending on the specific application and national regulations, various test standards apply:
- Automotive applications: DIN 75200, MV SS 302, PV 3357 and UL 94
- Filtration: The provisions regarding flame-resistance are laid down in DIN 53438 standard.
- Construction: Nonwovens for office fittings and mattresses used on ships and trains are evaluated according to DIN 4102 or DIN EN 13501 standards.
- Upholstered furniture: BS 5852 standard is decisive in this sector.
Our nonwovens are tested for flame-resistance in cooperation with external testing institutes.
STRUCTURE & SURFACE
The fibrous structure of nonwovens combined with diverse bonding technologies creates a multitude of different structures and surfaces, optimising and complementing function and efficiency of these materials depending on their respective application:
No plain surface is like the other. Depending on the requirements of the application, numerous “plain“ surfaces variants are available. A smooth / plain surface also characterises optimised surface integrity.
- Wipes: Smoothing the surface reduces linting. Furthermore, the nonwoven gains a more compact feel and becomes more stable due to a reduction in elongation.
- Automotive industry: Surface smoothing lends stability to the material and improves processability.
- Fashion: A well-bonded surface prevents fibres from penetrating the outer fabric.
Perforating or aperturing offers a specific method of surface structuring. It changes the material’s surface, giving the nonwoven a special design as well as additional functional properties. In wipes substrates perforation improves the cleaning effect: It enlarges the material’s surface area, enhancing its dust hold capacity.
Embossed nonwovens combine design and function. The material can be embossed with various motifs as a visual eyecatcher. In many cases, however, these designs also enlarge the nonwoven’s surface—a definite “plus” when it comes to dirt collection in wipes or absorbency in hygiene products. Multi-layer structures may be bonded via an embossing process, attaining adhesion between the layers without binders. Depending on the material and the utilised polymers these structures can be created thermally or by using hydro embossing. Visit our Design section for more details.
In offices or public spaces embossed acoustic components made of nonwovens may also offer a design feature.
Many Sandler qualities are available with end use oriented print motifs. Various designs for the hygiene and wipes industry emphasise the respective application. Visit our Design section and see for yourself or contact Sandler for your customised print design.
In technical applications such as filtration or construction, performance parameters such as the filter grade, relevant testing standards or the classification pertaining to thermal conductivity can be printed onto the material using inkjet printing upon special request of the customer.
Nonwovens can also be used in the form of composites consisting of several layers. Different nonwovens are combined with one another or with other materials. These multi-layered structures combine the diverse properties and functionalities into one product, fulfilling the highest quality standards. Multi-layer composites may also facilitate processing. The possible combinations are virtually unlimited:
- Hygiene industry: Multi-layer nonwovens combine several functions in one product, such as the transport and storage of fluids.
- Medical applications: Together with other materials nonwovens also function as padding for improved in use comfort, particularly in extended use.
- Wipes: In cosmetics and other applications the combination of fine and coarse layers improves the cleaning effect.
- Automotive & upholstered furniture: Multi-layer nonwovens facilitate processing and lend stability, for example to leather seats: when laminated onto the leather, they prevent overextension in use, thereby reducing unsightly creases in the seat.
- Filtration: Multi-layer composites lend stability to the products: Ceiling filters, for example, are rendered more stable by a polyester fabric laminated to the medium.
- Technical applications: Composites of nonwovens or with a multitude of other materials can increase the stability or even the resistance to heat, acids or other influences.
- Fashion: Lamination to nonwovens imparts optimum surface integrity and prevents pilling and fibre penetration.
Sandler nonwovens can be offered with different finishes to supplement functionality: for example with lotions, cleaning agents, an antibacterial finish or a flame-retardant finish to increase flame-resistance.
Nonwovens can be printed all-over or with detailed motifs using thermal transfer printing, digital printing, flexo printing or other established printing technologies.
- Hygiene & wipes industry: Print motifs emphasise the application and offer visual differentiation.
- Office design: Acoustic components for interior decoration can be printed to offer a design facet. Thermal transfer printing increases surface bonding and smoothes the nonwoven’s surface.
With the intention of improving the print result, the surface of Sandler nonwovens may also be pre-treated by roughening the fibres.
Adhesive coating can be applied on one or both sides of the nonwoven. In filtration for example, ceiling filter media are coated with an adhesive finish to facilitate processing in the end application. The coated parts are protected by a release film. Once this film is removed, the nonwoven can be used as intended. Pleatable filter media can be equipped with spacers made of hotmelt adhesive.
The nonwoven can also be pre-treated to enlarge the fibres’ surface to improve bonding with the adhesive.
Sandler's pleatable nonwovens for the filtration industry are suitable for processing on knife as well as rotation pleating lines. A homogenous, longitudinally oriented fibre structure provides for particularly accurate pleating and high pleat depths. The polymers utilised are temperature-stable, elastic and resistant to breakage, thus offering high stability: The pleats are dimensionally stable, yet are also flexible. They withstand mechanical influences during processing and temperature and humidity during use.
Cutting & die-cutting
Sandler nonwovens are easy-to-process using established cutting technologies such as band knives, CNC cutters, straight knives, water-jet cutting or laser cutting. Perforation cuts for tearoff wipes, for example, are also possible.
For hygiene products, automotive industry products, and for mat filters die-cutting is used, to which Sandler nonwovens are highly suited. Particularly in automobiles precision contouring facilitates accurate assembly onto the particular component. The material is also not distorted during die-cutting, resulting in accurate cuts with clean edges.
By selecting appropriate fibres, Sandler nonwovens are easily processable and can be sewn without difficulty—in the manufacture of fashion, mattress covers, car seats, and for pipe insulation or the production of pocket filters.
To achieve adhesion between layers, as an eye catcher or for the selective deformation of voluminous materials: Sandler nonwovens are embossed for a variety of applications. They are well suited to both calender and ultrasonic embossing, frequently used for the hygiene industry. In the automotive sector, embossed nonwovens are also used for example in engine cover parts. Again Sandler nonwovens are ideally suited to the processes employed in this industry, such as hot and ultrasonic embossing.
Due to the thermoplastic properties of the selected polymers utilised Sandler nonwovens are mouldable and are able to match the contours of the component. In addition, the material can also be hardened through moulding.
- Automotive industry: Nonwovens are for example processed into 3D moulded parts such as headliners or wheel house liners.
- Interior design: Acoustically efficient moulded parts made of nonwovens are also making advances into interior design. One recent example: a designer lamp shade.
In the filtration industry nonwovens are generally pre-heated prior to pleating. Sandler nonwovens are well suited to this process.
The polymers used make Sandler nonwovens totally compatible with ultrasonic welding, high-frequency welding or thermal welding techniques.
- Automotive industry: Ultrasonic or high-frequency welding spots are used to fasten nonwovens to die-cut or cover parts.
- Filtration & hygiene industry: Multi-layer composites can be bonded using ultrasonic or high-frequency welding.
- Technical applications: Nonwovens for pipe insulation are sealed using common welding technologies.
Depending on the specific application, Sandler nonwovens can be laminated with different materials to produce multi-layer structures with multifunctional properties: for improved acoustic efficiency, hardening, greater stability, resistance to heat or for improving mechanical properties. In fashion, the nonwoven is bonded to the outer fabric, in hygiene products multi-layer structures combine reliable protection with comfort in use—the possibilities are virtually endless.
In the hygiene industry, nonwovens are frequently transported to the laminating line on a vacuum conveyor belt. This process poses specific demands on the material’s air-permeability and Sandler nonwovens provide these characteristics.